National Recording Project


Detail from: Memorial to 158 Squadron by Peter W. Naylor, 2009

Allegories of Science and Art


Type Sculpture , Statue

     The male figure, personifying Science, holds attributes including dividers and compasses. The female, personifying Art, holds an painter's palette and has an easel by her side. Both figures fit their architectural setting, seated around the arch, their outstretched hands echoing its shape. The arch is further decorated by stylised foliation in low relief, typical of the period yet reminiscent also of French seventeenth century architectural decoration. The figures complement the Italian-French Renaissance architecture of the arcade.
     These imposing carvings are located at one end of this arcade built over a tunnel of the Great Western Railway by the architect W.H. Ward in 1875 and opened on 28th August 1876.(1) The first of several such arcades in Birmingham, it comprised ninety four shops and offices under a glass roof.(2) The figures were intended, along with two others in the spandrels on the Colmore Row facade, to attract trade from the other main shopping area on Bull Street.

Contributor details

Contributor Role
Ward, William Henry Architect

Element details

Part of work Material Dimensions
Statues Stone, Darley Dale and Bath each 400cm high

PMSA recording information

Reference Region
WMbiBIxx244 BM
General condition Good
Surface condition
  • No damage
Structural condition
  • None
  • None
Road Temple Row
Precise location Great Western Arcade, above entrance
A-Z ref None
OS ref None

Sorry, we have no precise geographical information for this item.

Date of design None
Year of unveiling 1875-76
Unveiling details opened on 28th August 1876
Commissioned by None
Duty of care not known
Listing status II
At risk? Not at risk

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